My dad has developed a lung disease and the cost of medicine in the US is very expensive. He wants me to ask if he is entitled at any medicines from the UK. I told him I would ask the question, does anyone know?

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    He can come to the UK and pay for treatment until he qualifies, which may be cheaper. But Kris' answer below nails it. – Gayot Fow Nov 28 '14 at 14:43

The short answer is no.

The long answer is here: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/healthcare_w/healthcare_help_with_health_costs_e/nhs_charges_for_people_from_abroad.htm

With the following being the most salient bits:

Your entitlement to free NHS treatment depends on the length and purpose of your residence in the UK, not your nationality.


You can receive free NHS hospital treatment if you:

  • have been living legally in the UK for at least 12 months when you start treatment, and did not come to the UK for private medical treatment
  • ...
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  • +1 great answer that clarifies misconceptions Brits often have. – Gayot Fow Nov 28 '14 at 14:42
  • Looking at the list of qualifying conditions I note: "have come to the UK to take up permanent residence, for example, if you are a former UK resident who has returned from abroad, or if you have been granted leave to enter or remain as a spouse". So my reading of that would be as long as he doesn't intend to go back to the US soon (which might be worth doing if the lung disease is bad enough) then he would qualify immediately – Richard Tingle Nov 29 '14 at 16:56
  • @RichardTingle I think you might have to work quite hard to convince the authorities that you had decided to take up permanent residence just as you got an expensive disease. But might be worth trying. – DJClayworth Nov 29 '14 at 22:56

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